Softbank Teamed Up With Fujitsu To Deliver Hd Video Transmission Service For World’s Largest Soccer Tournament

First use of H.264 video encoding technology to transmit images across 14,000 km from South Africa to Japan.

Fujitsu and SOFTBANK TELECOM Corp. today announced that they will be delivering a live feed of all 64 matches of the world’s largest soccer tournament, to be held in South Africa starting June 11, 2010, for one of the Japanese broadcasters who runs a communications satellite platform.

With the advent of terrestrial digital broadcasting around the world, there is increasing demand for broadcasters to inexpensively transmit high-quality, high-definition video. This is particularly true with international transmissions, which require long-haul transmissions over costly lines. As a result, services that provide high-quality video at low bit rates are in demand.

The announced video transmission service for broadcasters who run communications satellite platforms is built around Fujitsu’s IP-9500(1) video transmission device, which uses H.264(2) video encoding technology for efficient compression while preserving high image quality. This permits fast transmission across 14,000 km from South Africa to Japan using limited bandwidth, resulting in significantly lower line costs.

With its experience in transmitting live feeds of international sporting events, including the world’s largest soccer tournament in 2002 and 2006, as well as the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, SOFTBANK TELECOM is expanding its video transmission operations to fully leverage the existing global network infrastructure. Video data for all the matches taking place in the upcoming soccer tournament in South Africa will be consolidated at the International Broadcasting Center in Johannesburg, from where it will be transmitted over two routes over the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. By ensuring the availability of two dedicated lines, the signal can be quickly repaired by switching to a backup line in the event of brief errors or breaks, thereby allowing for uninterrupted long-distance transmissions 24 hours a day.

In addition, Fujitsu’s proprietary H.264 compression algorithm, which uses the 4:2:2 chrominance format, enables footage of fast-moving sports like soccer to be broadcast without sacrificing quality, ensuring that viewers at home can enjoy realistic and thrilling videos of world-class soccer matches.

Fujitsu and SOFTBANK TELECOM will bring together their know-how in video broadcasting to deliver the sense of realism and thrill to Japanese viewers of the upcoming soccer tournament in South Africa.

Glossary and Notes:

  • IP-9500: Released in November 2006, this device employs highly-efficient H.264 video encoding to transmit high-definition video in real time. In addition to output over Internet Protocol, the device can be equipped with optional boards to permit DVB-ASI output. The video transmission for the upcoming soccer tournament in South Africa will be delivered using DVB-ASI.
  • H.264: A video codec that employs a more efficient compression method than previous codecs, such as MPEG-2. It is the current international standard for video compression, adopted by both the ITU-T (International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector) and ISO/IEC (International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission). H.264 is said to achieve compression levels over two times better than those of MPEG-2, making it suitable for a wide range of applications, from low bit rate applications for mobile phones to high-definition class high bit rate applications.
  • 4:2:2: A method of representing video that records the luminance signal and corresponding color signal for a single scan line in a 4:2 ratio, ensuring excellent color fidelity and limiting color degradation during multiple encoding and decoding steps.


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